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Schindler's List

Essay by review  •  November 10, 2010  •  Essay  •  834 Words (4 Pages)  •  661 Views

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Schindler's List is one of the most powerful movies of all time. It presents the indelible true story of enigmatic German businessman Oskar Schindler who becomes an unlikely saviour of more than 1100 Jews amid the barbaric Nazi reign. A German Catholic war profiteer, Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 when Germany overran Poland. There he opens an enamelware factory that, on the advice of his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern, was staffed by Jews from the nearby forced labour camp at Plaszow. Schindler's factory prospered though his contacts with the Nazi war machine and its local representatives, as well as his deft skill on the black market. Then, somewhere along the way, Schindler's devotion to self-interest was supplanted by a desire to protect as many Jews as possible. This desire ultimately grew into "Schindler's List," which was directly responsible for sparing the lives of 1100 Jews - a charming and sly entrepreneur, Schindler bribed and befriended the Nazi authorities and managed to get them released from the labour camp and brought to the safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia.

Aspects of good and evil are portrayed in a number of different ways throughout the film, "Schindler's List". The story of Schindler's List reminds us that there is hope; that sometimes the actions of one person - one ordinary person even, for Oskar Schindler is not the stereotypical altruistic hero - can make a difference, even in the face of mass apathy and evil. Schindler was a womanizer, on the verge of being a drunk and held to dubious business practices. To think that this self centred man would become known for a shining moment of salvation for so many is almost beyond belief. Oskar Schindler is not a humanitarian or a force for 'good' in the typical sense. He is depicted within the film as a man that simply found himself in a unique position and rose to the occasion. Evil on the other hand, is epitomised throughout the film by the actions of those involved in the Nazi regime, in particular Amon Goeth who was in charge of the forced labour camp at Plaszow.

However, emotion is not only conveyed through the actions of the main characters. Colour also has a significant impact on how good and evil is portrayed within the film. Perhaps the most moving image in Steven Spielberg's epic, Schindler's List, condenses all of the sadism of the Nazi regime into one small pictorial area. One of only four colour images in a black and white film spanning over three hours, the little girl in a red coat, making her way, aimless and alone through the madness and chaos, compels Schindler's attention during the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto. Schindler identifies with the child, the plight of the little girl touches him in a way the sheer numbers make unreal - this image

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